Were You Not Given The Bonus You Were Promised? Our Employment Attorneys for Bonus Disputes Can Help
In many cases, the bonus compensation can actually account for the bulk of a person’s wages. While the details concerning bonuses and commissions vary depending on the employer, you are afforded legal rights regarding the payments you are owed. Have you recently been denied bonuses entitled to you? Whether the dispute is the result of a layoff, termination, or other circumstance, you have legal rights to recover money owed to you in the state of California. Contact our team at the Law Offices of Mann & Elias to learn more how our team can help you through a bonus dispute.
WHAT IS A BONUS DISPUTE?
- What happens if an employee closes a sale, but the customer never actually pays for the product or service?
- What actions must an employee complete to be considered the originator of a sale?
- What if the bonus formula is based on meeting an annual target, but the formula is restructured at some point during the year?
WHAT AN EMPLOYEE CAN DO IF THEIR EMPLOYER WITHHOLDS THEIR BONUS
While an employer is not required to offer any bonuses, once an employer promises a bonus or has an existing bonus program, they may become obligated to pay employees who qualify for the bonus. There are many factors to consider when it comes to your employer withholding bonuses, such as:
- Contractual obligations
- Discretionary bonuses
- Non-discretionary bonuses
- Bonuses paid timely
- Bonuses after termination
If any of these factors apply to you and have resulted in unpaid bonuses by your employer, it is important to seek help from an employment attorney in Los Angeles as soon as possible to protect your rights and financial interests. Learn what an employee can do if their employer withholds their bonus.
ENFORCEABILITY OF EMPLOYEE BONUSES
If you have met the requirements for a bonus, then you should receive it. The failure of your company to deliver is wrong and in many cases illegal. As an employee, it is important that you fully understand your rights and speak to an attorney who specializes in bonus disputes to determine the enforceability of employee bonuses. Perhaps you were promised a bonus that was never paid, or you were terminated and did not receive your bonus that you were promised prior to termination.
These types of cases can be very complex, therefore, it is in your best interest to seek legal help from a bonus dispute lawyer in Los Angeles to protect your rights and obtain the compensation you are entitled to.
WHEN CAN EMPLOYERS PRORATE BONUS PAYMENTS AROUND FMLA LEAVE?
Employees who work in sales require a slightly different contract, as bonus payments are a part of their salary. It makes them susceptible to more financial loss if they take extended time off due to an illness or via the Family and Medical Leave Act. When you are employed in a position where bonus payments are given to you for meeting performance standards, it is vital you make every attempt to familiarize yourself with your company's policy on leave time and how it can impact you.
While most companies do have their rules and regulations clearly spelled out, others may not. Goal-oriented and performance-based bonuses make up a substantial part of pay an employee receives. If, for example, you took time off to take care of a family member on protected job leave, you should take legal action against your employer if they retaliated. There should be clear standards in place as to how the bonus system works and how it will be calculated so you are paid fairly. For more information, refer to When Can Employers Prorate Bonus Payments Around FMLA Leave.
BONUS PAY IN CALIFORNIA FOR NON-EXEMPT EMPLOYEES
Bonuses are regulated by California’s wage and hour laws. Legally, it is defined by the Department of Industrial Relations as “Money promised to an employee in addition to the monthly salary, hourly wage, commission or piece rate usually due as compensation. Bonuses are in addition to any other remuneration rate and may be predicted on performance over and above that which is paid for hours worked, pieces made, or sales completed.” Bonuses can be earned: when an employee meets a criterion or contributes significantly to the company through an action, like bringing in new clients. Bonuses can also be unearned: when it is provided for no reason other than to reward loyalty and a great work ethic. Sometimes employers may opt to show their appreciation this way. However, if your employer vocally disclosed to write to you stating you would receive one, and you have not you should refer to a legal professional to make sure that the employer is not violating your rights and going against his or her word. Refer to Bonus Pay In California for Non-Exempt Employees if you are facing similar legal issues.
AVOID COMMON MISTAKES FOR COMMISSION AND BONUS PLANS
As an employee, you should be your own advocate. There are a few common mistakes you should avoid when you are paid on commission. Section 2751 of the California Labor Code specifically details commission agreements, and states that any agreements must be in writing. Employers are also required to give employees signed copies of any signed agreements. We want to ensure you have the information you need to prevent suffering from a drastic decline in income. This article is a resource and guide for the following:
- Commission Bonus Disputes
- Shared Commissions
- When to expect commission or bonus payments
- What to do if a product is returned
- How to take legal action and when is best to do so
WHAT GOES INTO AN EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT AND WHY?
An employment contract is vital when prospective employees are gearing up to sign on and be a part of your team. It acts as legal protection when employers are making a job offer. The document should include information like:
- Job descriptions
- Compensation and benefits
- Information regarding time off, sick days and vacations
- Schedule and employment period, if needed
- Confidentiality agreement to protect the company
As you can see, bonus disputes arise from a number of different issues or disputes. Because each individual case is complicated and unique, you need a lawyer with experience. When searching for qualified legal representation, look for someone who has prior experience with bonus dispute litigation and understands the intricacies involved in employment law. Under California state law, the first step is to examine the terms of the parties’ contract. An enforceable bonus contract is usually explicitly spelled out in a company’s written policies, so the dispute is in the interpretation. At Mann & Elias, we can help you determine what your rights are regarding these rules and policies.